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INTEODUCTOKY   KSSAY.                                    10

plants, — a study which requires also a practical acquaintance
with organic chemistry, consummate skill iu handling the dis-
secting knife, and command over the microscope, a-good eye,
a Steady hand, untiring perseverance, and above all, a discri-
minatipg judgment to check both cyo, hand, and instrument.
A combination of these rare qualities makes the accomplished
vegetable physiologist, and their indispcnsability gives physio-
logy its pre-eminence in practice.

III. Subjects of Variation, Origin oj tf/vm>.sy tyecijic Centres,
Hybridization, and GeoyMjj/iwul Distribution.
It has been with no desire of obtruding our views upon our
readers that we have ventured to discuss these obscure sub-
jects with relation to Indian plants, but from a conviction,
that in the present unsatisfactory state of systematic botany
it is the duty of each .systematic to explain the principles
upon which he proceeds; and we do it not so much with the
intention of arguing tie subject, as of pointing out to students
the many fundamental questions it involves, and the means
of elucidating them.
To every one who looks at all bcixeath the >«tface .of de-
scriptive botany, it cannot ,but be evident that the word
species must have a totally different Signification in the opinion
of different naturalists; but what that signification is, seldom
appears cicept inferentially. After having devoted much la-
bour in. attempting to unravel the so-called species of some
descriptive botanist, we have sometimes been told that the
author considers all species as arbitrary creations, that he
has limited the forms he has called species by arbitrary cha-
racters, and that he ccWdcrs it of no moment how- many o%
how few he mates. So long as this opinion is fouudcfl on con-
viction, tf c can urge no reasonable objection against its adop-
tion j but it is absolutely necessary that the printipla should
be avowed, and that those who think the contrsiy Should not
have to waste '.time iu seeking for nature's laws the , works